With the cost of gas and electricity prices sky rocketing it is more important than ever to learn how to save energy when cooking. Did you know that cooking typically accounts for 13.8% of electricity demand in UK homes, with freezing or cooling food requiring a further 16.8% of the electricity used on average according to the Energy Saving Trust?
The kitchen is often the hub of a home, I know mine is. It is where we gather, cook, clean, chat, and sometimes eat. So here are some suggestions as to how you can start cutting those percentages, and save energy around your kitchen especially when cooking and find efficient cooking methods.
A lot of these tips named tricks will be really simple and I bet you know most of them already, however, the key to saving energy really is using less energy and that means being consistent in these things. Once you start, keep it up and it will soon become a habit and you should see a reduction in energy consumption even if you don’t see a reduction in your fuel bill.
Energy Efficient Cooking Tips
Stovetop and Hob Tips
I know it sounds simple, but I have a favourite pan that I ofrten use and it took time to actually get use to using the right size pots or pan. It would make sense that if you’re preparing a smaller meal, then you should use a smaller pan. In fact, it has been estimated that a 6-inch pan on an 8-inch burner typically wastes approximately 40 percent of the heat produced by the burner on an electric hob.
Also always use a lid as it keeps the heat and energy in the pan. Turn off the heat a couple of minutes before your food is fully cooked – particularly if you’ve got an electric hob, as they take some time to cool down and will continue to cook your food. I do this when I boil potatoes all the time.
Use a steamer. We have a three teir steamer that we use over a pan. So for exaple if we are cooking carrots in the bottom the water steams the brockli and green beans above. Three things cooked from one pan with the same evergy. You can even cook a meal in one go, tey boiling rice at the bottom and cooking fish and vegetables in steaming pans above.
Boil water in the kettle or the microwave if you are boiling on the hob as it is quicker and more energy efficient. Only use as much water as you need – boiling extra takes more time and energy. If you do boil too much pop it in a thermos flask for later.
When oit comes to the more energy efficient stove top, it is convection, folloowed by gas then traditional electric.
Ovens are particularly inefficient because you have to heat up a big metal box as well as your food, so you might want to switch smaller appliances like an airfyer, microwave, slow cooker or pressure cooker when you can.
When you do use the oven it’s best to make the most of it when you turn it on by batch cooking, filling it and using it wisely. Add your food as soon as it comes to temperature and turn it off ten minutes before the food’s finished cooking. The oven temperature will remain the same As long as you dont open the door) so the food will still cook without the oven using more energy. You can lose upto 25% of the heat when you open the oven door!
Use your Microwave
Not only do microwaves use less energy than your oebm, they’re far more efficient as they only heat the food itself rather than waste energy heating the air around them. There’s no warming-up time – microwaves reach temperature virtually instantaneously, and food takes far less time to cook. I cook a mean sponge pudding in the microwave.
What is combinatyion cooking – it is cooking in more than one appliance. Love a jacket potato, but want the crispy skin. We cook ours in the micrtowave then spray with oil and air fry for 5 minutes and we have perfect Jacket potatoes. Did you know you can also cook jacket potatoes in the slow cooker? We also cook our mac n cheese in the microwave and then grill the top to get the crispy breadcrumbs. Not only does this reduce the amount of time we need to cook, it means the convenction oven is redundant.
Slow Cook or Pressure Cook
I am a massive fan of my Instant Pot which is a slow cooking and a pressure cooker and use it a lot. We love a stew or soup cooked in the slow cooker nad the benefit of the Instant Pot is that is has a seal so you don;t smell it all day (woerking from home and slow cooking used to mean I was starving)! Slow cookers are among the kitchen’s most energy-efficient appliances. Although they take longer to cook food, they’re rated at as little as 200 watts and cost as little as running a light bulb. In fact my most viewed recipe on here is slow cooker donar kebab.
The pressure cooker’s sealed lid traps steam and ensures that the food cooks more quickly. Our pressure cooker or slow cooker pulled pork is a family favorite.
So there are my money saving tips that focus on cooking. If I have missed anything or you have any tips than please do share in the comments so I can add them to this resource.
Other Energy & Money Saving Tips:
- How to tighten your budget without impacting upon family life
- Tips to Save Energy in the Bathroom
- How to Save Money on Heating Costs this winter
- Budgeting Tips for University Students
- Frugalist Guide to Staying Fashionable on A Budget
- How to create a magical Christmas on a budget
- Teaching kids budgeting – Cash versus card
- Cooking with kids – budgeting, buying and cooking
- Creating a family budget
- Budget Pouches and Cash Budgeting
- Decorating on a Budget
- Rising Costs of Energy and Inability to Pay – An insiders guide
- Money Saving Tips For A Cosy Garden All Year
- Eight Ways to Help You Be Responsible with Money
- Money-saving tips for UK family holidays
- How to be a Savvy Spender this Christmas